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Difference between AIO liquid cooler and radiator?

What is the difference? are they the same thing ?  what is push and pull in radiators?

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AIO (All in one) liquid coolers are made up of a waterblock, tubing, pump, coolant and a radiator (and fans). A radiator on its own would do nothing for cooling anything. It is a component in a watercooling loop. 

 

Push and pull refers to the way air is moved by fans through the radiator. 

 

In this image, the fan on the left is moving air towards to the radiator, so it is "pushing". The fan on the right is pulling air through the radiator, so it is "pulling". 

 

Push-Pull.jpg

 

 

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AIO - All-in-one - a no-assembly-required kit that contains the pump, CPU (or GPU) waterblock, the tubing and a radiator. These are generally as-is and can't be upgraded/parts can't be replaced.

The radiator is just one of the parts of the AIO.

push/pull refers to the way the fans are installed on radiators. One fan pushes air onto the radiator while the other pulls heated air away from the radiator.

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Radiator is just one part of a water cooling setup.  An AIO liquid cooler has the minimum for what you would need for water cooling at a much more affordable price than a custom setup, though you lose customization and the ability to add to it.  A minimum water cooling setup consists of CPU(or GPU) block, a pump, tubing, a radiator (plus fans), and more often than not a reservoir.  An AIO liquid cooler has all of that built in to a neat little package. 

 

As for what a radiator actually is, it is what allows the thermal transfer from the water to the air.  It's made up of tiny little fins to really increase surface area so when fans 'push' or 'pull' air through it the water transfers its heat into the air.

 

Push means the fan is blowing air through the radiator, or pushing it.  Pull is the opposite where it sucks air through and blows it out the top, or pulls it.

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A radiator is a necessary component of any liquid cooling system, either custom or all-in-one, as that is how heat leaves the system.

 

The terms "push" and "pull" describe how the fans on the radiator are arranged: either to push air through them, or pull air through them. Push/pull means you have one of each.

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